Content in a crisis: a guide

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There have been worse times. There have been better. You might be worried about your beautiful content calendars and social queues. You might be worried how to deliver content that still has relevance and helps your customers. Here are some ways to think about delivering content in this age of ‘never-befores’.

Below is a top level guide on how you as a content marketer can get through this.

Be very clear

As self-interested as consumers were, they are now only thinking about themselves and their future. Questions like: ‘What is this?’ ‘How does this help me?’ ‘What do I do now?’ will be in the forefront of their minds.

They will be more sensitive to things which answer these questions. They will be repelled by ambiguity and complexity.

Brand identity and brand affinity happens when you have successfully helped people overcome their immediate challenges.

So, every word needs to make sense, provide assurance and be understood.

Write shorter sentences, break down paragraphs, shorten ideas into easy to understand chunks.

If you have written two paragraphs, see if you can say it in one.

Deliver consistency

In the coming weeks and months audiences will need rely on new routines and content consumption habits. So, show up more often. Deliver the ‘show’ of your business.

Setting your content schedule to publish new content consistently is a must. If you can build a daily cadence of producing and publishing your content that would be a goal worth reaching.

Write more often and personalise

We have already seen that volume works when content marketing is linked to gaining attraction. To see any results now though, you will have out-produce your competition and segment your audience.

And since 90% of all content marketing is now linked to the COVID-19 the volume, to keep up to date, will need to increase. The delivery will have to be strategic. Some of your customers will have different needs and will have already tuned out to Corona related messages. Pick out audience segments to deliver specific personalised content to. Something that only matters to them. These segments will also need to be served as equally as the larger groups.

Relevancy has taken on a different meaning now and you will need to personalise all of your content to make it that much more relevant to every type of audience member.

Create at least 1 video per week people need to see your face

We are seeking new communities and taking stock of our options. As such your audience will most certainly be responding to new messages and more importantly friendly faces of encouragement.

You are your brand. You represent your company and the values that you should have been practicing all along. So get your face out there, show your audience you exist and they can rely on you, not some faceless corporation.

Personal brand marketing was already a hot topic in 2019, now is the time to invest in this if you can.


Your audience and customers have questions. Make sure anyone and everyone in your organisation is available to answer them.

 The higher up the company someone is the more impact and re-assurance this will have when they respond to a customer. A message from the MD will carry more weight than a generic corporate message or one from customer services. A crisis relies and responds to authoritative voices.

Reassure as often as possible, but under no circumstance over promise

Brand trust is precarious even in prosperous times. One angry tweet could be very damaging. Customers seem to have brands by the short and curlies and have all the leverage.

Even at a small scale we are very cautious of how are perceived. In this current crisis the reactionary thing to do is to bow, curtsy and even discount to your hearts content.

However, you still need to make a living. You need to be straight with your audience. Tell them what is to come but provide an equal measure of reassurance that you are doing everything you can to help them solve their immediate challenges.

If expectations are set and you have set clear rules around dialogues, then you will not need to gasp in anticipation at every customer query.

Moreover, we are all doing what we can. Including you and your business. So the promise needs to be just that. Not that you are going to make everything great again.

Demonstrate you understand the root of the problem

You will need to demonstrate you understand the supply chain. In a B2B space, businesses will be reeling and not be able to either articulate their issues or know what to do to fix them. You will need to go the extra mile to show the customer, or potential lead, that you have their interests at heart and know their business.

 If it takes a few more words or paragraphs or an infographic or video, then do it. Show them that your service or product is the solution to their complex issue. And you as the solution can offer a way to support them.

Your services and products are not as important as how you can help

 Brand and companies who are concerned with maintaining the status quo will die.

Protection of how great their product is or how wonderful their new AI-science-based-neuro-linguistic doodad is, won’t matter anymore. Features and to an extent the benefits, on their own, won’t be enough.

From a content marketing perspective, one that compliments a customer’s journey, you will need to demonstrate people using your product and service. And more than that, them succeeding in overcoming challenges when using your product or service.

Testimonials, social proof, endorsements recommendations will become very valuable in articulating your value proposition and worthiness to the market.

Don’t worry too much about production value

People are responding in different ways to the current crisis, but the overriding emotion is fear.

Speed and authority, in this case, will be rewarded more than quality. So, if you can get content out, that showcases the idea clearly and the message genuinely helps them reduce their fears you will come out looking great.

With this mind people’s expectations of artistic extravagance are lowered. Something that is deemed ‘great’ won’t come from a place of chin posing artistic judgement but rather a place of connection. If you can serve your customers, help them, connect, then you are making great looking content.

 Get your technical SEO in order

If you have not already done so…sort your SEO OUT NOW!

If your website is the central point for your business either people brochure shopping or transacting, SEO will take on a greater importance. The algorithms will change, and there is already signs that some sites have been suffering in terms of visibility and keyword attribution. So you need to get your ship in shape to make sure you can whether the storm.

These are the things you should have optimised already:

Google my business  – https://www.google.com/business/business-profile/

URL structure – URLs on your site containing keywords and being intuitively linked to your site navigation.

Content structure – Making your content easy to navigate, using action based intuitive and logical call to actions, organising posts based on topics and customer needs.

Internal and external links – Interlinking your pages and posts more than just the navigation.

Metadata – Making sure your meta titles, meta descriptions are filled in, not for ranking better but for clicks.

Keyword and topic analysis – Making sure you do your due diligence on what your site ranks for, what you would like to rank for and what you need to do in order to bridge the gap.

Alt tags – Use alt tags in your images to introduce the keyword in question and make your image relevant to the content you produce.

Backlinks – Make sure your site is not linked to a dodgy site or better yet the backlinks you have worked to get are still active. Or if your brand is mentioned on another site then you are able to get a link to your site. 

If you have time, use sites like Uber suggest or Spyfu to see how competitors search has been affected in the last month.

Thank you, I love you, good luck.



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